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Narco News 2001

Updated Saturday March 17th, 8:30 p.m.

Important Update: All day Saturday the Mexican press has been buzzing with quotes from officials of the National Institute of Immigration (INM), claiming that 30 "Monos Blancos" from Italy have been cited to appear before the authorities on Tuesday at 1 p.m. for alleged aggressions toward the press corps during the Zapatista Comandantes' visit to the Politech University in Mexico City on Friday.

Narco News has learned of two very important facts missing from these stories:

1. The members of the "Monos Blancos" group had already left Mexico City before Friday, and, according to a reliable source, were more than 12 hours from the scene of the events for which they were blamed. They are still, says the source, in that far away place today.

2. The alleged altercation between a "reporter" - not named by any of the press (not even, inexplicably, by La Jornada) and a foreign observer, allegedly Italian, had it wrong on both counts. The "Italian" was a U.S. Citizen. The "reporter," unnamed, whether assigned by a news agency or not, clearly acted as a provocateur. The "reporter" went crying to other reporters that an "Italian" of the Monos Blancos group called him a "fucking indio," and claimed racism against Indians by the "italian." In fact, the gringo observer, after being physically attacked by the "reporter" said "fucking shit." (This, at least, La Jornada did report, but their protection of the identity of the "reporter" is inexcusable - the journalists club placed above principle!) Finally, Narco News questions that any real "reporter" would whine about being called any name! The reporter ought to have been in Italy or Chile this week, or in Cancun last month, when police beat up reporters, before declaring himself "victim" for some words that he didn't understand, or intentionally distorted, anyway.

Narco News is investigating the identity - and background - of said "reporter." This "reporter's" claims - cheerleaded by other so-called "journalists" - led to an overreaction by the immigration authorities who claimed to be citing 30 Italians from the Monos Blancos. It remains to be seen who they cited or will cite, and whether any of them were even in Mexico City yesterday when this provocation transpired.

Now, onto our original story....

Al Giordano, Publisher

Monos Blancos Speak

March 16, 2001

"White Monkeys" In their Own Words

Friday Publisher's Note: During the indigenous Zapatista Caravan to Mexico City, February 24 to March 11, an Italy-based solidarity group, called "the White Overalls" for their chosen attire, was asked by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation to provide security for the 24 EZLN delegates.

It was not a job for timid people, and the White Overalls - affectionately dubbed "Monos Blancos" or "White Monkeys" by the Zapatistas - rose to the occasion.

Some fans of the Zapatistas were upset that this group, primarily of Italians, kept them from asking Marcos for an autograph or kept aggressive members of the press from demanding an interview in the middle of the caravan.

At Narco News, we never had any problem at all with the Monos Blancos. To the contrary, their presence was vital. Being foreigners to Mexico, their belt of security signified that any violent attempts to harm the Zapatistas would have likely harmed these European citizens - thus deterring such attacks due to the understanding that the international outrage would be more intense. Of course, we didn't try to demand access to the Zapatista comandantes in the middle of an already tumultuous and fast-moving journey either.

Some folks didn't like being told they couldn't just walk up to Subcomandante Marcos and the comandantes during the caravan. Some Mexicans were upset that "foreigners" kept them from the indigenous delegates. We remind that the Monos Blancos were asked to do this job by the indigenous delegates. Some folks, still, complained to the yellow press, and various stories criticized the Monos Blancos for doing their job.

For the last three days of the Zapatista Caravan, members of the Indigenous National Congress relieved the Monos Blancos and handled the security exactly the same way. The yellow press, of course, did not complain - instead it ignored the indigenous security team.

On the Mexico City Zócalo, Marcos said it all: Noting that the press didn't mention the indigenous guards at the end of the caravan, the Subcomandante said, "That's because they only notice you if you're white."

At Narco News, we salute the Monos Blancos for a job well done.

In fact, when we go to trial in New York City - where the same Mexican bankers who are opposing the San Andrés Accords in the federal congress are suing to silence Narco News - we invite the Monos Blancos to handle our security as well - from the courthouse to Little Italy to Wall Street, where the real dangerous whackos lurk.

Here is their statement, translated by Narco News, delivered on the final day of the Caravan.

From somewhere in a country called América,

Al Giordano


The Narco News Bulletin


"White Monkeys" Speak

"We Are All Indians of the World"

"None of what happens in Chiapas, none of what happens in Mexico, is foreign to us. In the country of solidarity, there are no foreigners. We are millions of citizens of the world who are here without being here."

- Eduardo Galeano
La Jornada, March 10, 2001


We are dressed in white because we are like ghosts, small invisible women and men in the struggle against the giants of money and exploitation.

We are dressed in white because white is the result of all the colors and we feel ourselves to be of all colors because all the colors, all the languages, and all our cultures are those that enrich the planet.

We are here, alongside the indigenous of this land, alongside Mexican and International Civil Society, to defend the colors, the languages and the cultures of the world.

We are here to shout that we want a world where many worlds fit and that in these worlds there ought to be Democracy, Freedom and Justice.

We went to Genova to defend the dignity of this planet against the aggression against the environment and biodiversity; to Nice to defend the right of free circulation and the dignity of those in Europe as in Latin América who die crossing the borders. We went to Seattle, to Davos, to Prague, to Cancún to defend the dignity of the men and women of the entire world who confront the nefarious effects of the globalization of money and markets.

We are here, today, in this plaza, to defend indigenous dignity.

We have learned much, in these years, from the EZLN. We have learned that there exists and Army that was born to disappear, that arms can exist to be able to speak, that a ski mask can serve not to hide oneself, but to be seen. The white overalls in which we dress, the suit of the invisibles, are our ski masks.

We come from far away but we are closer than it seems.

If borders already don't exist for the bankers, the multinational corporations, the oil companies, why should they exist for those who fight against the exploitation that they exercise? How can we defend ourselves from the neoliberal globalization in any other way than fighting for the globalization of rights and dignity? We are united with the brothers and sisters of all the world who fight for Democracy, Freedom and Justice, and in each part of the world there are outsiders and enemies that land and violate it. They are the foreigners!

Mexico City, Planet Earth, March 11, 2001

Monos Blancos (White Monkeys)

Who are the Foreigners Here?